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Protecting nature

Sustainable packaging


Become fully circular and contribute to the health of the environment and people.

With 10 commitments centered around 4 key drivers (Reinvent, Reduce, Rcycle, Restore), Source of Change aims to accelerate Spadels transition towards a circular economy. Transparency and partnerships are fundamentally underlying this strategy. Join the Source of Change at sourceofchange.spadel.com.

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The use of packaging, and in particular plastic packaging, is without a doubt one of the major challenges that Spadel faces. Like many citizens, Spadel shares the concern to preserve our nature for future generations.

Underlying Source of Change is a holistic view on packaging, which is also reflected in how we developed the commitments. In 2018 we examined the challenge from four angles: the policy framework, the consumer’s vision, the consultation of stakeholders in our value chain and the identification of the market context.

Source of Change contains 10 concrete commitments in the areas of product design, packaging production, collection and recycling, and litter prevention and clean up. Collaboration will be essential to achieving these objectives. We will take the lead and actively collaborate with business partners, academic partners, governments and civil society organisations.

To prevent and clean up litter, we already established a global strategic partnership with The SeaCleaners, an organization that fights plastic pollution in the oceans. We are also in the process of concluding partnerships with local authorities and organisations in all our markets.

Outlook 19

We will communicate extensively, explaining Source of Change to our internal and external stakeholders.

We will also put in place concrete governance structures and will launch the work streams on the different objectives.

80% sustainable suppliers


Leverage the power of the supply chain to accelerate sustainability.

Through our procurement policies we have a real influence on our suppliers and we expect them to show the same leadership in sustainability as we set for ourselves.

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By focusing on local purchases, Spadel reduces its exposure to risks inherent to the supply chain. In 2018, 100% of purchases (ingredients for flavoured water and lemonades, packaging materials, etc.) were made within 500 km of production sites in Belgium.

Spadel also asks all its suppliers to sign the Spadel Sustainable Procurement Policy (SSPP), which lists the minimum expectations regarding ethical, environmental and social efforts (child labour, discrimination, working hours, etc.). Spadel may terminate a contract if the supplier does not genuinely engage in this regard.

Finally, Spadel asks strategic suppliers to participate in EcoVadis, which, as a third party, evaluates the efforts made by these suppliers in the field of sustainable development. In 2018, Spadel had 44 strategic suppliers:

92% signed the Spadel Sustainable Procurement Policy (target of 90% achieved).
Among the 36 existing suppliers:
34 carried out their EcoVadis audit (= 94%, target of 80% achieved); none were in the high risk area. In total, 82% of them scored under control. This is a significant improvement over 2016 (63%) and 2014 (38%);
2 who did not obtain an EcoVadis score signed the SSPP.
8 new strategic suppliers were invited to submit to the EcoVadis audit.

Outlook 19

Spadel will continue its efforts by developing action plans for existing and future strategic suppliers.

We are participating in the Green Deal circular purchasing initiative by the Flemish government, with the aim of integrating sustainability criteria into our purchasing process.

100% Bee-Friendly


To have a good biodiversity in our catchment areas, factories and broader regions.

Biodiversity efforts help maintain healthy and natural water collection areas. Bees are the sentinels of the environment and reflect the effectiveness of our initiatives.

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Spadel works with BeeOdiversity to measure biodiversity and the effectiveness of protection measures at the sites. Together, we established bee colonies in the Spadel water collection areas. BeeOdiversity analyses the pollen they collect. It examines 22 indicators, including the quality of biodiversity, the quantity, diversity and quality of pollen, bee health and the quality of the environment. For this last indicator, more than 500 different parameters are controlled, which makes it possible to detect any contamination. In 2018, 16 beehives were active at the different Spadel sites.

Black grouse were released in the Hautes Fagnes in 2017 and 2018. The grouse is known for its high biodiversity value. It is an umbrella species: if the habitat of the grouse is protected, many other animal and plant species of the same environment will also benefit. An emblematic species of the Fagnes, the grouse thus helps protect our local biodiversity. This project is supervised by the University of Lige and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and supported by WWF, Spa and Pairi Daiza.

Outlook 19

Hives will be installed in the Rhodope Mountains, at the Devin site in Bulgaria. Spadel plans to create a European label for biodiversity with BeeOdiversity.

"Gold" European Water


Spadel will have all production sites Gold certified by 2020.

Spadel commits to a rigorous protection of its natural sources of water to ensure its original purity and unique quality, for us today but especially for future generations. EWS helps to assess and improve efforts on sustainable water management.

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Climate change is already having a major impact on water availability, supply and preservation worldwide. Sometimes due to heavy rain, sometimes due to water shortages. This is not currently a problem in the regions where the Spadel Group is active.

Spadel extracts only a fraction of the amount of water that falls each year into the collection areas. The water is drawn without being depleted and each site monitors the Water Exploitation Index (WEI): the ratio between the average annual abstraction and the average annual water available in a given region.

The springs of Spa, Bru and Brecon have a WEI of less than 4%; a figure well below the 10% threshold set by the European Environment Agency (EEA). We also apply the principle of draw without depleting to our springs in France and Bulgaria. We are working on scientific data to calculate the exact WEI.

In 2018, the Spa Monopole site received the highest rating (Gold) of the European Water Stewardship (EWS) certification standard for the third time. The other Spadel Group sites are in the preparatory phase. Initially, we also wanted to have Devin audited in 2018, but we decided to postpone it until 2019, pending the merger of the European Water Stewardship and the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS).

Outlook 19

We look forward to the certification of Spa Monopole and Devin via the new AWS method.

We will prepare the audit of other sites.

Reduced Water Use Ratio


To achieve a Water Use Ratio (WUR) of 1,6 L/L.

Reducing the water footprint has long been one of Spadels priorities. Most of our water goes straight into the bottles. We also use water to, amongst other things, clean our glass bottles.

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In 2018, the average production of one litre of mineral water and lemonade required 1.58 litres, which gives a Water Use Ratio of 1.58 l/l.

Between 2010 and 2018, Spadel managed to reduce the WUR by 54% per litre.

As such we already achieved our goal of 1.6 l/l WUR by 2020.

These figures are somewhat positively influenced by the arrival of Devin (a large volume of mineral water) to the Spadel Group in 2017. Without Devin, the 2018 WUR is 1.68L/L, which is still better than the 2018 target of 1.72.

This information was independently verified by EY in 2018 (see Sustainability report).

Outlook 19

We are continuing our efforts in each site to further reduce this ratio.

Carbon neutral


To be a carbon neutral company (scope 1, 2, 3) in 2020.

Scientists are unanimous: climate change is largely due to carbon emissions from human activities. One of the solutions is to significantly reduce our carbon footprint. For Spadel this means (in order of impact) working on packaging, transport and energy consumption.

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As a pioneer of sustainable development in Europe, Spadel has set itself the target to achieve zero emissions by 2050, without any form of compensation.

Our combined efforts have allowed us to reduce our total carbon footprint in 2018 by 26% compared to 2010. As such we received the CO2Logic Carbon Neutral Company (scope 1 & 2) for the 4th time.

Our 10-year carbon offset project in Rwanda began in 2018, in collaboration with local partner Water Access Rwanda and Belgian partner CO2Logic. We will invest in the restoration of water wells, reducing the need to boil water to make it safe for drinking.

As a next step in achieving our ambitious 2050 goal, we have joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Its aim: to keep global warming below 1,5C. Were proud to say that we are only one of ten food and beverages companies in Europe to have received official SBTi approval of our carbon reduction target: -42% by 2030 (vs. 2015).

Spadel is also the first European company to apply the PEF methodology to its entire product range. 16 environmental criteria underlie the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), resulting in one score. This should help consumers to compare and make an environmental friendly decision.

This information was independently verified by EY in 2018 (see Sustainability report).

Outlook 19

In 2019 we continue to work towards our CO2 neutrality in 2020 goal. We will start new initiatives putting SBTi in practice.